The human body is the singer’s instrument, from head to feet. The way that we educate singers – whether as choral conductors, private voice instructors, or school music teachers – effects the sounds they produce and the enjoyment to be had in music making. It is vitally important for voice educators to understand their own Use, and be aware of the results of gesture and physical/vocal models they provide, as well as the types of directions given verbally to singers. All of these directly relate to the sounds singers produce.
The Sound Direction approach to choral conducting and the education of singing artists emphasizes process – balanced gesture, accurate and intentional verbal directions, and a rehearsal approach that energizes through ease – and gives individual singers the tools for singing well. The whole ensemble is more responsive in the moment with less stress. It is based in sound vocal pedagogy, years of experience working with singers at all levels, and uses principles of the Alexander Technique to change unhealthy habits of vocal production into free-flowing sound that is enjoyable to both singer and audience.
When conducting my own ensembles, I build a foundation of sound principles of coordination and vocal production, where the singer’s brain and body are all put to use in an atmosphere of musical excellence, and where the rehearsal process is as fulfilling as the performance. When teaching solo singers, I more specifically address the coordination of the individual student using the Alexander Technique, tying vocalization into the lesson process. All singers become familiar with the mechanics of free, unimpeded breathing, and experience the breath ‘support’ that comes from an energized, balanced body. Each singer is encouraged to engage with the text as a path to artistry, offering a direction for the whole person to truly embody the music being sung.
For more information, please contact me.